Israel releases 90 Palestinian prisoners

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Conflicts in the Gaza Strip have caused several battles between Palestinians and Israel.

The Israeli Government has agreed to release ninety Palestinian prisoners as a gesture of 'good faith', in an attempt to Palestinian support of President Mahmoud Abbas over the rival Hamas party.

Israel had originally said it would release a hundred Palestinian prisoners, but announced that ten of the prisoners could not be released as planned - a judgment typically reserved for those who have committed violent crimes against Israelis. The list of names is expected to be announced in the coming days.

Abbas praised the measure, but still called for the release of 11,000 other Palestinians held in Israeli prisons.

The ruling Hamas party also welcomed the measure. Last year Hamas captured an Israeli soldier and demanded a prisoner exchange with Israel, though terms have still not been finalised.

Israel had already decided last June to free 250 prisoners convicted of non-violent offences.

"Israel follows a 'revolving door' politic in which she arrests Palestines when she wants and releases them when she wants. I think this is not accepted by our people", stated Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhum.